Etsuko Inada, a tiny eleven-year-old, the first woman to compete internationally for Japan, skated in the 1936 Olympics and might have starred in the 1940 event scheduled for Sapporo in her home country, had war not broken out. The hostilities almost certainly deprived Britain of victories in Sapporo. Two Britons, Graham Sharp and Freddie Tomlins, had gained first and second places in the mens singles event in the 1939 World Championships, while the rivalry continued between Cecilia Colledge, who had won the 1937 World title, and Megan Taylor, who captured it in 1938 and 1939. Closing the ranks behind them was another Briton, fourteen-year-old Daphne Walker, who won bronze medals in the 1939 European and World Championships.
It was not surprising that North Americans, whose skating activities had not been interrupted during the war, should do well when the sport resumed in 1947. When Eva Pawlik of Austria unsuccessfully challenged Barbara Ann Scott in 1948 one reason given for her failure was that she skated with dirty boots and holes in her tights. The boots were so old they no longer responded to cleaning and the holes were darned. It was the best she could manage with all the shortages in her country.
Dick Button who won the mens event that year was a superb free skater, dazzling spectators with jumps that were clearly higher than any that had been seen before. He attributes part of his 1948 European Championship success to a squeegee mop. When it was his turn to do the fifth figure, the back paragraph loops, the ice was extremely wet in the one desirable part of this outdoor rink which did not have a bumpy surface. Just as he was about to give in and choose another spot, he saw the mop, swept away the water, and gained high marks for the figure.